Temperatures were on a roller coaster ride throughout February in the Brainerd lakes area and the first week of March appears to be showing signs that spring is coming.

Brainerd lakes folks saw a temperature gap of nearly 80 degrees in the month of February alone. The highest temperature was 40 degrees reported about a week ago on Feb. 22 and the lowest temperature was 36 degrees below zero recorded Feb. 13 and 15, according to the National Weather Service in Duluth.

International Falls had the greatest difference in temperature gaps in the Northland with an 88-degree difference with a high of 46 degrees reported Feb. 22 and a low of 42 below zero Feb. 13.

Temperatures in the Brainerd lakes area for February averaged 16 degrees for a high and 3.7 degrees below zero for a low.

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The normal high for February is 27 degrees and 6.3 degrees for a low.

Brainerd set a record for coldest high temperature Feb. 16 with a high of 6 below zero. This broke the old record of 5 below zero set in 1990 and tied in 1930.

Throughout the 28 days in February, the Brainerd area recorded eight days when temperatures were below zero and 16 days of below zero temperatures at night. When it comes to precipitation, only one-tenth of an inch fell in the Brainerd area, according to the weather service.

These below zero temperatures are hopefully done for the season, as the forecast for the first week in March looks promising to those begging for spring warmth. As lakes area residents say goodbye to February, Monday, March 1, topped out in the low 20s, but temperatures are expected to rise to the mid-40s for the rest of the week, nearing 50 degrees Sunday and Monday.

Brainerd lakes area detailed forecast

  • Tuesday, March 2: Partly sunny, then gradually becoming sunny, with a high near 45. Breezy, with a south wind 10 to 15 mph becoming northwest in the afternoon. Winds could gust as high as 20 mph. Mostly clear at night, with a low around 21. Northwest wind around 5 mph becoming calm after midnight. Winds could gust as high as 15 mph.

  • Wednesday: Mostly sunny, with a high near 40. North wind around 5 mph becoming calm. At night becoming partly cloudy, with a low around 23. Calm wind becoming southeast around 5 mph.

  • Thursday: Mostly sunny, with a high near 43. Southeast wind around 5 mph. At night mostly clear, with a low around 23. East wind around 5 mph.

  • Friday: Sunny, with a high near 44. Southeast wind around 5 mph. At night partly cloudy, with a low around 26. Southeast wind around 5 mph.

  • Saturday: Mostly sunny, with a high near 45. Southeast wind around 5 mph. A low around 30 at night, with a south wind of 5 to 10 mph.

  • Sunday: Mostly sunny, with a high near 48. Breezy, with a south wind 10 to 15 mph, with gusts as high as 25 mph. Partly cloudy, with a low around 33 degrees at night. South wind around 10 mph, with gusts as high as 15 mph.

  • Monday: Mostly sunny, with a high near 49. South wind 5 to 10 mph.



JENNIFER KRAUS may be reached at jennifer.kraus@brainerddispatch.com or 218-855-5851. Follow me at www.twitter.com/jennewsgirl on Twitter.